Milo Yiannopoulos is a British journalist who was a technology editor at the conservative news and opinion site Breitbart. He has gained much notoriety online for frequently covering the Gamergate controversy and for being an outspoken critic of third-wave feminism.
In May 2007, Yiannopoulos launched the @Nero Twitter feed, gaining over 162,000 followers over the next eight years. In November 2011, Yiannopoulos launched the online tabloid magazine The Kernel along with friends David Rosenberg and David Haywood Smith, journalist Stephen Pritchard and former Telegraph employee Adrian McShane. The magazine was subsequently closed in 2013 and was purchased by The Daily Dot in 2014.
On September 1st, 2014, Breitbart published an article by Yiannopoulos titled "Feminist Bullies Tearing the Video Game Industry Apart," which criticized the politicization of video game culture and video game developer Zoe Quinn. That month, Yiannopoulos wrote several articles about a private Google group mailing list titled "GameJournoPros," purportedly used by gaming journalists cooperating to work against GamerGate. In December, Yiannopoulos announced he was working on a book about the Gamergate controversy. On September 30th, 2015, Yiannopoulos appeared on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, where he discussed a variety of issues, including Gamergate, homosexuality, religion and feminism (shown below).
Sky News Appearances
Yiannopoulos is a frequent guest on the British news station Sky News. On June 16th, 2015, YouTuber Captain Nemo uploaded footage of Yiannopoulos defending Nobel Prize-winning British biochemist Tim Hunt (shown below, left). On July 29th, YouTuber Captain Nemo uploaded a Sky News segment in which Yiannopoulos debates the issues body shaming and fat acceptance (shown below, right).
University of Manchester Debate
On October 6th, 2015, Yiannopoulos and Guardian journalist Julie Bindel were banned from appearing at an upcoming debate titled “From liberation to censorship: Does modern feminism have a problem with free speech?” at the University of Manchester. In an announcement from the University of Manchester's Students' Union, Bindel, a second-wave feminist, had been barred from the debate for her "views and comments towards trans people" which violated the school's "safe space policy." The ban was subseqeuntly extended to Yiannopoulos for "comments lambasting rape survivors and trans people."
On January 8th, 2016, Yiannopoulos tweeted a screenshot of an email from Twitter informing him that his verified badge had been removed "due to recent violations of Twitter Rules" (shown below). Within 48 hours the tweet gained over 2,100 likes and 1,600 retweets.
Yiannopoulos subsequently claimed Twitter did not explain which rule he had violated and speculated he was being punished for being an outspoken conservative. To protest the badge removal, Twitter users began changing their profile pictures to photographs of Yiannopoulos and posting the hashtag #JeSuisMilo, in reference to the French slogan "Je Suis Charlie". That day, the hashtag was the #1 trending topic in the United States and #3 worldwide. Meanwhile, Twitter executive Nathan Hubbard posted a tweet speculating that the badge removal may have been a reaction to complaints that Yiannopoulos was "encouraging harassment" (shown below). The following day, Yiannopoulos disputed the complaint, claiming he told a friend "you deserve to be harassed" as a joke (shown below, right).
On July 19th, 2016, Twitter suspended Yiannopoulos' account following a campaign that Twitter alleges he led to tweet racist and sexist things towards Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones. It appears that Twitter, notorious for its inability to effectively deal with trolls, made the move in an effort to show it is cracking down on harassment, noting that they had suspended Yiannopoulos not for the offensive content of his tweets, but for violating Twitter's rules regarding the harassment of individuals. A screenshot of the full statement Twitter gave to Buzzfeed is below.
In a statement on Breitbart, Yiannopoulos called the suspension "cowardly" and declared "This is the end for Twitter. Anyone who cares about free speech has been sent a clear message: you’re not welcome on Twitter."
Yiannopoulos's suspension prompted the #FreeMilo hashtag to trend nationwide on Twitter. Conservative supporters have used the hashtag to argue that the suspension is an indication of a left-leaning double standard on Twitter; others have used the hashtag to troll.
On December 29th, Yiannopoulos announced his upcoming autobiographical book Dangerous, set for release in March 2017. That day, The Hollywood Reporter published an article revealing that Simon & Schuster's Threshold Editions gave Yiannopoulos a $250,000 advance for the book, including a statement from the author:
"They said banning me from Twitter would finish me off. Just as I predicted, the opposite has happened. Did it hurt Madonna being banned from MTV in the 1990s? Did all that negative press hurt Donald Trump's chances of winning the election?"
That day, the Chicago Review of Books tweeted they would abstain from covering a single Simon & Schuster book for the rest of 2017 in protest of Yiannopoulos' book, referring to it as a "disgusting validation of hate" (shown below, left). Meanwhile, comedian Sarah Silverman posted a tweet denouncing the publishing company for giving Yiannopoulos a "platform" (shown below, right).
That day, Yiannopoulos became a trending topic on both Facebook and Twitter. On Facebook, Yiannopoulos posted a response to the online backlash, stating "your impotent fury heats my pool" (shown below, left). On December 30th, a large influx of preorders caused Dangerous to become the top selling book on Amazon (shown below, right).
On December 27th, 2017, publisher Jason Pinter tweeted Simon & Schuster's rebuttal to Yiannopoulos' lawsuit, explaining why they were not going to be releasing the book. The tweet (shown below) received more than 4,500 retweets and 13,000 likes in 24 hours.
The sections were made available by the New York state courts' website. They were made public record following Yiannopoulos' July 2017 lawsuit against the publisher for breach of contract.
The following day, Twitter user @sarahmei tweeted, "I went to the New York county clerk’s website and found this filing. It includes the entire manuscript with allllllll the editor’s comments as exhibit B." Following this tweet, she began posting elements of the manuscript with the editor's comments. She describes the editor in a tweet, "The editor is a conservative man who has published books for 45 & other folks with similar opinions. You can see that in the occasional “good point” comments. But mostly he was very politely having NONE of Milo’s bullshit. It’s glorious." This 18-part thread, the tweets received more than 10,000 retweets and 20,000 likes.
Others online objected to the posting the edits as a joke. They saw the edits as a way to "whitewash" Milo's comments for the mainstream. Twitter user @surfbordt made a Twitter thread (examples below) to explain this position. They wrote, "here's the PDF link to Milo's manuscript with commentary from the editor. An interesting insight into an attempt to launder fascist views into mainstream consumption. In a follow-up tweet, they wrote, "here's how a conservative editor seeks to whitewash Milo into something more acceptable and profitable."
UC Berkeley Protest
Full Article: 2017 Milo Yiannopoulos UC Berkeley Protest
In early February of 2017, Yiannopoulos was scheduled to hold a talk to the students of UC Berkeley, when a large group of protesters arrived to the student union building and begun to tear down metal barricades, smash windows and set fires outside of the building. The protest gained heavy controversy.
On February 19th, 2017, the @ReaganBattalion Twitter feed posted a video from an episode of the Drunken Peasants podcast in which Yiannopoulos seemingly defends sexual relationships between adult men and teenage boys when discussing age of consent ideas as “arbitrary and oppressive” (shown below).
On February 20th, Fox News contributor Guy Benson tweeted that Yiannopoulos had been disinvited from speaking at the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Meanwhile, Yiannopoulos published a post condemning pedophilia and "adults who sexually abuse minors," as well as claiming he was a "child abuse victim" (shown below).
That day, Simon & Schuster spokesperson Adam Rothberg tweeted that the publisher had cancelled Dangerous "after careful consideration" (shown below). Also on February 20th, Fox Business reported that there was "fierce debate" inside Breitbart regarding Yiannopoulos' employment at the company.
Following the cancellation, screenshots of a 4chan thread began circulating in which a poster claimed to be part of a mainstream media email list, and that journalists had planned to "destroy" Yiannopoulos career by depicting him as a pedophile.
Resignation from Breitbart
On February 21st, Yiannopoulos released a statement that he would be resigning from Breitbart and that the decision "mine alone" prior to holding a press conference regarding the controversy:
BuzzFeed News Report
On October 5th, 2017, BuzzFeed published an article titled "Here's How Breitbart And Milo Smuggled Nazi and White Nationalist Ideas Into The Mainstream," which included "an explosive cache of documents," including emails from Yiannoupoulos' private account. Among the emails included discussions about a Breitbart article defining the alt-right, in which Yiannopoulos consulted controversial figures asscoiated with the alt-right and white nationalism, such as Daily Stormer system administrator Andrew Auernheimer, software engineer Curtis Yarvin (a.k.a. Mencius Moldbug) and American Renaissance editor Devin Saucier (a.k.a. Henry Wolff). The article, titled "An Establishment Conservative's Guide to the Alt-Right," was subsequently written by Breitbart staff writer Allum Bokhari. Additionally, the article included screenshots of emails sent by Steve Bannon berating Yiannopoulos for "jerking yourself off w/ marginalia" (shown below).
Additionally, the documents contained correspondences between Yiannopoulos, Bannon and Dan Fluette, an employee of Glittering Steel owned Robert Mercer. In the emails, Yiannopoulos discusses obtaining payment for security and his Dangerous Faggot book tour from Glittering Steel. An screenshot of Bannon and Michael Flynn Jr. praising a Basket of Deplorables meme was included as well (shown below).
The article also included leaked emails about meetings with venture capitalist Peter Theil, an email group including Vice writer Mitchell Sunderland and correspondences with former Slate technology writer David Auerbach regarding various figures associated with GamerGate. Auerbach subsequently tweeted that BuzzFeed misquoted his response and that their allegations against him were "categorically false" (shown below).
That same day, BuzzFeed News uploaded a video of Yiannopoulos singing "America the Beautiful" was while Richard Spencer and others can be seen making Nazi salutes in the audience (shown below). In a statement to BuzzFeed News, Yiannopoulos claimed eyesight issues prevented him from seeing the salutes and "I disavow Richard Spencer and his entire sorry band of idiots."
 The New York Times – Twitter Bars Milo Yiannopoulos in Wake of Leslie Jones’s Reports of Abuse
 The Washington Post – ‘Leave the lesbians out of it’: Who wants to edit Milo Yiannopoulos?=